Album Review

Range Rats, The – “Range Rats” – [Mississippi Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/1/2010   12-inch, A Library

Touted as a mix or punk and country, and born from a mid 80’s
tour panning for coin in Nevada mining towns, it’s hard to
resist the post Rats/pre-Dead Moon duo wearing reverb boots
and pulling six-string reins. To me, these songs felt more
like lost 1950-60’s era TV western soundtracks than country
per se. “Honky Tonk” nails a Rawhide-like solo to the swinging
doors. “Over the Gun” rides a boxcar of surf. Broken bottle
saloon slide guitar cuts in on “Prison Train.” Toody’s coyote
harmony yelp never sound better. Her torch on the trail work
on “Lonely” is beauty. Fred churns out sturdy riffs. These two
just have that sacred fire, if you try and play with it too
much, you become Deadbolt (not necessarily a bad thing.) Meanwhile
rolling, Roland?, rolling with the Range Rats was Rollie, a
defective deputy of a drum machine! Catch Rollie on the last
two tracks which were added for this release culled from tapes
on the trail. I preferred the human rhythm tracks, even though
they feature prohibition drums and dry cymbals. The fantastic
paperback pulp cover captures the music better than these words.
Play ’em high…

-Thurston Hunger

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